Under cover of the quiet of August, we at Canes and Coffee have been sending emails in a couple dozen directions with the aim of checking in on the Hurricanes prospects who played the 2016-17 season below the AHL level. Similar to the vast majority of our prospect coverage for the 2017-18, we will again lean heavily on short interviews with scouts and analyst local to the players who were able to watch them regularly during the 2016-17 season.
Our series of ‘Back to School’ articles kicks off today with a profile and check in on 2017 first-round draft pick Martin Necas.
Martin Necas is the Hurricanes’ most recent first-round draft pick, selected #13 overall in the 2017 NHL draft. He is a skilled and speedy forward with a nose for the net. He played the 2016-17 season in his native Czech Republic, and rumored (not confirmed) to be joining the Saginaw Spirit in the Ontario Hockey League (assuming he does not surprise and make the NHL roster) for the 2017-18 season.
Interview with Carolina Hurricanes Robert Kron, Head European Scout for the Carolina Hurricanes
About the author
Robert Kron is the Head European Scout for the Carolina Hurricanes. Robert’s Hurricanes history dates back to the 1997-98 season when he was part of the inaugural Hurricanes team. In addition to three years with the Carolina Hurricanes, Robert’s NHL career spanned 12 seasons including three with the Carolina Hurricanes. In 771 games in the NHL, he scored 144 goals and collected 338 points.
Interview on Hurricanes prospect Martin Necas
Canes and Coffee: When initially scouting Martin Necas, what most jumped out about his game and his skill set?
Robert Kron: Martin’s skating, hockey sense, creativity and work ethic were outstanding. Not only is he exciting to watch, but he also plays a two-way responsible and very mature game. He also has very high compete level and plays a physical game.
Canes and Coffee: What are Martin Necas’ strengths that give him the potential to become a top half of the roster NHL forward?
Robert Kron: In addition to his natural talent, his passion for the game, strong will to improve, and work hard and his with a desire to listen and learn are all valuable traits.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of Martin Necas’ game and skill set still require improvement as he develops to become an NHL player?
Robert Kron: Martin’s game is very mature already, and he learned a lot from playing in the top league in the Czech republic. He also played on a line with former NHL player Martin Erat for the most part of the season and that helped him to develop as well. Just the simple fact of being around a player that played many years in NHL on daily basis was very educational for him. However the jump from Europe to the NHL is not easy. It’s not just the skill set. He needs to learn what it really means to be a professional on a daily basis. Also the competition and intensity of NHL is something that he has not experienced yet. Martin is very smart and I believe it will not take him too long. At the same time, he is still very young, and physically he needs to mature and get stronger to be able to handle the workload of a long season in the NHL. His potential however is very high and a lot will depend on him.
Canes and Coffee: Is there a current or former NHL player that reminds you of Martin Necas’ in terms of skill set and style of play?
Robert Kron: Martin is his own man and one has to be careful to use names but his game reminds me of somewhere between David Krejci and Tyler Seguin.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything about Martin Necas that is maybe not captured or highlighted enough in the public scouting reports and profiles?
Robert Kron: Maybe that his father was a cross country skier and his mother played basketball, so he comes from a sport family and does have athletic genes…
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Martin Necas that you would like to share with the Carolina Hurricanes fan base?
Robert Kron: I would say that Martin is a very humble young man and does not take anything for granted. He comes from a blue collar family and his parents did a very good job installing the right values in him.
Interview with Dennis Schellenberg from Future Considerations
About the writer
Dennis Schellenberg (Twitter=@ScoutingFactory) grew up in Zurich, Switzerland and still lives there. He covers Switzerland for Future Considerations where he also covers International tournaments throughout Europe. He also covers prospects from Central Europe, including Slovakia and Czechia for McKeen’s Hockey.
Canes and Coffee: Please profile Martin Necas for Hurricanes fans who are just learning about the team’s newest prospect.
Dennis Schellenberg: Martin Necas is a speedy center with very good shooting and great skating skills. He is offensively gifted and poised with the puck. One of his biggest strengths is his above-average shot, which he can release in a hurry and with great velocity. Next to his powerful shot, he is a lightning-quick skater and shows great top speed and acceleration, which makes him almost fly over the ice and through the neutral zone. Necas possesses a good nose for the net and often in the right spot for a shot.
Canes and Coffee: From your scouting of Martin Necas during the 2016-17 season, what areas of his game give him the ability to be an elite NHL player?
Dennis Schellenberg: His shot, skating and goal scoring touch. Given his skill set and strong skating, he has the makings to become a top-6 scoring forward at NHL-level.
Canes and Coffee: What areas for improvement do you see in Necas’ game as he continues to develop as a player and prepare for the NHL?
Dennis Schellenberg: He will need to bulk up and work on his defensive zone game as he sometimes loses track of his opponents. Necas is not the strongest face-off player, therefore, it might be that he moves to the wing at some point in his NHL career. Also, sometimes he gets a little too fancy instead of making the easy play, but that is something that he will get rid of with maturity and developing in North America.
Canes and Coffee: Which current or former NHL players does Martin Necas remind you of in terms of his skill set and style of play?
Dennis Schellenberg: I have heard Nathan MacKinnon a couple of times, and I would agree on that.
Canes and Coffee: What are you hearing from other scouts and other hockey people about Martin Necas?
Dennis Schellenberg: Pretty much the same like I have mentioned above. Necas has not been a player that created different opinions when rating him. It is pretty clear that he possesses strong offensive skill, a powerful shot and above-average skating once you see him play.
Canes and Coffee: Do you have any insight on Martin Necas that is either not known or differs from the general perception of him in the hockey community?
Dennis Schellenberg: He is an exceptional forechecker as he keeps his feet moving and chases opponent puck carriers in the corners, sets them under pressure with not backing off and quitting.
For additional reading on Martin Necas, please check out our ‘reading list’ of external articles compiled after the Hurricanes selected Necas at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Robert Kron and Dennis Schellenberg for generously sharing their insight on Hurricanes prospect Martin Necas!